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Ukraine Protests Turn Deadly As Opposition Threatens To "Attack"

At least three protesters died Wednesday in clashes with police, while opposition leaders issued an ultimatum that elections be held.
January 23, 2014, 3:20am

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Protests in Ukraine turned deadly for the first time on Wednesday, leaving at least three people dead as opposition leaders promised to go "on the attack" if the government doesn't call for elections to be held.

One of the deceased was shot four times, according to a statement from the coordinator of medical services. A video (below) was also released of a body wrapped in blankets being carried into an ambulance. The third death occurred after a protester fell from an arch.

Riot police moved in on protesters in the capital in the morning, tearing down barricades made of burnt police cars and opening fire. Clashes have been violent since Sunday, when the government instituted a new set of laws limiting citizens’ rights to protest.

Kiev has been in crisis since November, after President Viktor Yanukovych ditched a trade deal with the European Union in favor of financial aid from Russia.

Following news of the deaths, three opposition leaders met with Yanukovych, but he reportedly failed to give concrete answers to their demands. That's when the ultimatum was delivered and Vitali Klitschko offered to lead protestors on the attack in Kiev.

"I will not live in shame. Tomorrow we will go forward together. If there will be a bullet in the forehead, so be it. It will be honest, just and brave action," said former economy minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, urging protesters to resist riot police in the days to come.